Early in the fourth quarter, Alabama was able to get some pressure on Georgia quarterback Stetson Bennett. It appeared Bennett was able to throw the ball away before he was tackled for a loss.
Georgia head coach Kirby Smart reacts during the second half of the College Football Playoff championship football game against Alabama Monday, Jan. 10, 2022, in Indianapolis. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)
The ball bounced away and into the hands of Brian Branch, who then stepped out of bounds. The officials would rule that the ball was actually fumbled by Bennett and recovered by Branch before the defender stepped out of bounds.
After further review, the call on the field stood.
College football fans debated whether it was the right call with some comparing Bennett’s fumble to Bryce Young’s non-fumble in the first quarter.
On the ensuing drive, Crimson Tide quarterback Bryce Young would find Cameron Latu in the end zone for a touchdown. Alabama would fail to convert the 2-point conversion but would take the lead, 18-13.
Fans at the University of Georgia’s coliseum in Athens, Ga., hold their heads after Alabama converted a first down during the second half of the College Football Playoff championship game Monday, Jan. 10, 2022. (AP Photo/Ben Gray)
It was Alabama’s first touchdown of the game as they kicked four field goals prior to the 3-yard touchdown pass from Young to Latu.
Alabama’s Cameron Latu reacts after catching a touchdown pass during the second half of the College Football Playoff championship football game against Georgia Monday, Jan. 10, 2022, in Indianapolis. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)
It’s clear the call to rule Bennett’s pass attempt a fumble instead of incomplete will be a big moment of the game. It’s unclear just how much of an impact it will have on the final score.